Q. Is there a difference between having a visual sensory preference and being able to visualize?

A. I believe there is. A visual sensory preference indicates that stimuli taken in through the sense of sight typically registers more quickly in your brain than either auditory or kinesthetic sensory stimuli, although there may be specific situations in which you are more aware of auditory stimuli (e.g., listening to music on the radio, attending a musical program, singing in a choir, playing an instrument) or kinesthetic stimuli (e.g., having Thanksgiving dinner, trying on clothes, petting a cat, smelling the perfume of roses in the garden).

Visualization describes an ability to engage in internal mental picturing—to see something in the mind’s eye that you have seen before, or to create a picture of something you have never seen. For example, most people can recall their mother’s face. Some can imagine a purple watermelon.

Some people have both (a visual sensory preference and a frontal-right brain lead) and others have neither. It’s definitely different strokes for different folks!

Most people can train themselves to visualize, to engage in internal mental picturing by choice—at least at some level. This activity will likely be easier for some individuals than others based on innate giftedness, however. For example, an individual with a biochemical preference for processing information in the right frontal lobe of the cerebrum may be able to hone the ability to visualize to a higher level of competence, and expend less energy in the process.